Asian Dan


Cazals in NYC

Photo by Faith Ann Young

Cazals made their 2nd US appearance this past Thursday 11.6.08 in NYC at Hiro Ballroom with their label mates Fires of Rome. The:Hours Showcase was fantastic. Fires of Rome opened up the night and had the crowd going. Cazals came on and were super tight and left quite an impression on the crowd even though they were missing their keyboardist, once again. I was most impressed with how bombastically badass Warren the drummer is in keeping the band together. The entire rhythm section was super tight and are able to stop on a dime. Highlights of the set were “Both Sides” and “New Boy In Town”.

I hung out with boys after the show and headed to the Beatrice Inn where Luca spun a fantastic Italo Disco set. He dropped tracks like Azoto’s “San Salvador”, New Order’s “Blue Monday”, Chic’s “I Want Your Love” and of course Rick James’ “Super Freak” along with other amazing tracks from circa ’77 to ’81.
Azoto – San Salvador

Friday night Luca spun a heavy techno/fidget house set at The Annex where he apparently killed it.

Saturday night I met up with the guys and took Daniel and Luca around downtown NYC. I then met up with the rest of the guys at Le Poisson Rouge where Luca spun a great set including Federico Franchi’s “Cream” and SebastiAn’s “Motor”. We all then headed over to The Annex where Luca stepped up to the decks once again to close out the night with some electro bangers. He opened with Soulwax’s remix of Phantom Pt II which got the crowds attention. He dropped tracks like Boys Noize remix of Cuy Copy, Tiga’s remix of The Human League, Lifelike’s remix of “Somebody, Somewhere” and once again the amazing “Super Freak” by Rick James.

All the guys in Cazals and The:Hours, along with all their friends are super down to earth, chill people who all genuinely love music. They are all musical encyclopedias. Thanks to everyone at The:Hours, The Annex and the gentlemen in Cazals for showing me an awesome time. Expect a lot of great stuff from The:Hours and Cazals in the near future. Cheers 🙂

Nicky Digital x Cazals

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Asian Dan Interview: Who is Dubka?

I was speaking to Daniel and Luca C. from Cazals and told them that Asian Dan might as well become the official Cazals fan page. They are a fantastic band and released a fantastic album this year, one of my favourite. Anyways here is the next installment in the Cazals band profiles, introducing Martin the bassist and producer of Cazals who also goes under his electronic moniker, Dubka.Here are 2 great Dubka remixes, very pop and 80s. He did a great job nailing those classic 80s drum and synth samples. Catchy stuff
Late of the Pier – Space & Woods (Dubka Remix)
Pin Me Down – Cryptic (Dubka Remix)

Asian Dan Interviews: Dubka
1. Who is Dubka? What is your first musical memory?

I’m Dubka, I’m a musician and producer. My first musical memory is lying on the floor in front of my dads hi-fi speakers, listening to “The Longest Time” by Billy Joel. I remember the feeling of the bass in my chest and all the amazing contrapuntal vocals.

2. What are your biggest influences, musical or otherwise?

I’ve always loved Francis Bacon’s painting and just the way he saw the world and thought about art. Mark Rothko is another influence, which leads me to Morton Feldman and John Cage. I find some of the things these people wrote just as inspirational as their art. Sometimes more so. Musically, I love Stravinsky, Yellow Magic Orchestra, The Strokes, Bartok, Ligeti, Penderecki, Talking Heads, Daft Punk, Laura Branigan, Prince, John Carpenter, Devo, Ariel Pink, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Eurythmics, Stan Bush, Tel Jeroen… I could go on all day.

3. Who are your favorite Producers/DJs?

I think Daft Punk are so far ahead of everyone in so many ways, it’s impossible not to admire them. And I kind of see Oizo as the ring leader of all the new French guys. Nile Rodgers is great, the Persian guy who did the best Chaka Khan stuff, Brian Eno especially with Talking Heads, Phillipe Zdar, Prince, the guy who did MGMT sounds great. I’m sure there’s more but I can’t think right now. I’m more into music than production.

4. What are your top 5 tracks you put on to dance?

Well, like most people, it changes all the time but right now I would say:
Once In a Lifetime – Talking Heads
Lucky Star – Madonna
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
Savin’ The Day – Alessi Brothers
Dare – Stan Bush

5. What to you is a perfectly produced track? Any examples?

That’s a tough one. I don’t think there’s any such thing as perfection. Production is almost like dressing someone. When you see them naked, you might instantly think of something that would accentuate how that person looks, highlight their qualities and hide their flaws. Maybe they look amazing naked. Some people could make a bin bag look good and it doesn’t really matter what you do with them, if anything. So, if you follow my analogy, I think it’s all very subjective and at the end of the day you just end up with one vision, not perfection.

6. What are some difference between producing tracks as Dubka vs. producing Cazals?

I don’t think there are any similarities! The first is me pacing up and down, lying on the floor, not speaking and looking for exactly what it is I want to do and how I see the track. The latter is a compromise of everyone’s artistic vision, technical ability, ego and all the rest of it. If I want to try something, I have to convince the others of my intentions. And then working with Cazals differs from working with another band because I’m much closer to the whole thing. Luckily they’re usually quite tolerant when I tell them I’m right and they’re wrong. Haha!

7. Does your bass playing influence your Dubka production style? I have been playing bass for 10 years and feel that the bassline is the crucial link between the drums and melodies especially in dance/electronic music.

I’m sure it does. Bass was my first instrument so I guess I must relate most things musical to that in some way. I find the interaction between bass and drums and drums and melody really important. They’re like the book-ends of the track that hold everything else in place. Also, playing drums, keyboards and guitar gives me a better understanding of how they interact and how to arrange them and that in turn helps explaining ideas and communicating with other musicians.

8. How do you feel about DJs and electronic producers stepping behind the mixing board like Erol Alkan producing the Mystery Jets and Late of the Pier?

I was skeptical at first but when you think about it, it’s all just a matter of good taste and how you motivate people. Erol is a cool guy and I think he’s done a really great job with the bands I’ve heard him work with. As far as I know, he mixed those records as well, which is very impressive. SebastiAn said he’s working with Peaches and Uffie too but I guess that isn’t such a huge departure, apart from the communication and the compromise.

9. Dubka’s future plans? Cazals future plans?

I’m not sure what’s happening with Cazals. There are a few more gigs to honour this year, then who know’s? As for myself, I’ve just finished a remix for Hearts Revolution which I wish I could show you but it should be released soon. Oh, and I’m just starting one for Sebastien Tellier. I’ve been talking about revisiting an old project of mine with some friends called The Plastic Society ( I always have problems with my own music because I find showing it to others can somehow affect how I view it and that makes it difficult for me to judge exactly what it is I want to do, which I find very important. There’s music in my computer that nobody has heard and maybe never will but I’m talking about it more these days so I’m working on what’s going to become of it. Maybe you’ll see a Dubka album, who know’s?

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Cazals: Luca’s Mixtape 3 & Martin’s 10 Songs that Shaped their Album "What Of Our Future"

Here is a mixtape by Cazal’s guitarist Luca. It is a fantastic mix of some dirty and heavy sounding tracks.
Luca’s Mixtape 3
Luca’s Mixtape 3 (zshare)

1. Lady Lazarous – Lillica Libertine
2. Hate – Adam Freeland
3. Bring the Noise (Sfaction rmx) – Benny Benassi
4. Kore – Dusty Kid
5. Venus – Sebastian Leger
6. ?
7. Break yourself – Mimo
8. Kittin is High (Jojo the Freq rmx) – Miss Kittin

Here is Martin’s (Producer and Bassist) top 10 songs that Shaped their new album, “What of Our Future”, Out the 26th of May. Their next single “Somebody, Somewhere” is out the 5th of May, it is such an amazing pop tune.
Cazals Myspace

Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams
“I always aspire to create something which captures an atmosphere which is definitely outside of the recording studio. This is one of my favourite tracks ever and I have never been able to imagine it being written or recorded… it has a some kind of divine quality as though it just it dropped from the sky one day.”

Rydeen – Yellow Magic Orchestra – Solid State Survivor
“For me, this is the epitome of everything that is great about electronic music. I was literally speechless the first time I heard this and can only imagine what it must have sounded like to audiences in 1978! The footage of them performing this song on Japanese tv is still THE coolest thing I have ever seen… ever.”

Self-Control – Laura Branigan – Self Control
“This won against Heart Of Glass (Blondie) in my head just now but I think I love both because they’re great songs, well produced and both have amazing drummers playing along to simple drum machines. This one wins on atmosphere because it has it’s own dark, little world with creatures and so on. It has JR Robinson who also played the flawless beats on all the best Michael Jackson songs. I think he and Clem Burke must have been early prototypes for some kind of “perfect drummer” robot. Imagine both of them dressed as robots, with chrome drum kits, on stage with Daft Punk…”

Money For Nothing – Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms
“My dad had this on vinyl and I can remember dancing around with my sister to this when I was a little boy and it still excites me when I hear it today. Once again, I just cannot imagine that guitar intro was ever played by a human! It makes me think of a Transformer transforming and turning into an amazing silver guitar that Megatron can rock out on.”

Krystof Penderecki – Therenody For The Victims Of Hiroshima
“If you don’t know this one just think of the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey. That cloud of sharp strings in suspended animation I-think-I’m-going-to-be-sick-or-pass-out-if-this-carries-on sort of sound. Dark. Not of this world. Who’d have thought the future would come from Poland?”

Gustav Holst – The Planets
“From that brooding, ominous intro of Mars right through to the disembodied choir finale of Neptune, this is simply one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. And made by an Englishman. God save the Queen.”

Igor Stravinsky – The Rite Of Spring
“This is a tour de force of emotion, atmosphere and violence. It caused a riot at it’s world premier and had women passing out in the aisles.
And like Francis Bacon, this seems to feed my preoccupation with death. Like a great poem, it paints pictures in the most graphic, sometimes disturbing ways. Everyone else can only aspire to this sort of greatness.”

12:51 – The Strokes – Room On Fire
“The Strokes represent the opposite of much of what I’ve said up until now. I can actually imagine Julian singing this (and every other song of his) and this is his talent. Everything is delivered with such a naive, honest, human quality that it feels almost like you’re a fly on the wall of his innermost sanctum. Like studying someone’s face while they’re sleeping. Oh, and I chose this particular song because I’m still absolutely floored every time I hear that “is it, isn’t it?” synthetic guitar sound. Sick.”

Veridis Quo – Daft Punk – Discovery
“This song feels like it “moves” and I can’t explain exactly what it is I mean but I feel like I’m actually in motion when I hear it. It’s like going on a journey, travelling into this songs little galaxy. Headphones on, eyes shut, on a journey through space and time avec Thomas and Guy-Man.” (Does pyramid sign with hands).

Madonna – Lucky Star – Madonna
“There’s something magical about that arpeggio intro. It just excites me and makes me want to be a teenager in Middle-America, circa 1984, hanging out at 31 Flavours, in my hot-red sports car with a pastel sweater over my shoulders and a keg on the back seat. Sort of the aural equivalent of actually living in a John Hughes movie. This was a close call with Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (another dancing with my sister favourite).”

I love these songs and I think they influence everything I do.

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